I am not sure what it is about chicken fingers and nuggets that kids go nuts over, but the vast majority of kids seem to relish in this simple meal! These gluten, dairy, and egg free chicken fingers taste better than the original version.
Your kids won’t even know you modified the traditional chicken tender recipe.
If you are gluten free, there are loads of easy breading options out there. Use one of the options listed below to make crispy chicken fingers at home.
- Homemade bread crumbs – Keep the end pieces of any dry crumbly gluten-free bread, such as the heels. I have used some baking mishaps here too. Just whir the bread chunks in a high powered blender or food processor, and you have fresh bread crumbs ready to go. Just be sure to store them in the freezer because the moisture is still in them and they will mold.
- Crunched up gluten free cereals – Use cereal such as Rice Chex, Rice Crispies, or corn flakes. Crunch them up by hand (inside a bag) or in a food processor. (My favorite is corn flakes)
- Your own simple flour & spice mix – Any all-purpose gluten free flour will do, but I usually prefer brown rice, sweet rice, or regular rice flour for breading.
- Crunched up gluten free crackers
- Store bought gluten free bread crumbs – These are super expensive generally, which is why I avoid them. It’s much cheaper to use something you already have around the house.
If you would like to see a pan-fried version using Rice Chex, check out my Panko Crusted Chicken!
Gluten, Dairy, and Egg Free Chicken Fingers - Super crispy!
- 1 pound boneless chicken thighs or breasts, cut into desired pieces
- 1 cup unsweetened milk substitute
- 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Tabasco optional
- 2 cups gluten free breadcrumbs see options above
- ½ cup tapioca flour
- 1-2 tablespoons Salt-Free Cajun seasoning OR 1 tablespoon Hungarian paprika If your seasoning contains salt, omit the extra salt below, and use half the amount of Cajun seasoning
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons oregano or thyme
- Allowed butter oil, or cooking spray
- Create a pseudo buttermilk by mixing your milk of choice with the apple cider vinegar or lemon juice. (You can sub regular buttermilk if you like.)
- Mix the buttermilk, salt , and Tabasco together in bowl or Ziploc bag large enough to accommodate your chicken.
- Add the chicken and brine for 1-2 hours. (Do not skip this step!)
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
- Combine all the breading ingredients and remove the pieces from the brine, dredging each piece and pressing down for a thorough coating.
- Place coated pieces on a greased cookie sheet.
- Lightly spray the top of each piece with cooking spray so that the breading is lightly moist., or drizzle some melted butter or oil over each piece.
- Bake at 400 degrees for 20-30 minutes until crispy and golden brown. How long this takes will depend on your chicken piece size.
By contributing writer Tessa